Medieval Notes

Unit 7: Medieval Society (Chapters 13 & 14)
SSWH7 The student will analyze European medieval society with
regard to culture, politics, society, and economics.
a. Explain the manorial system and feudalism; include
the status of peasants and feudal monarchies and
the importance of Charlemagne.
b.Describe the political impact of Christianity;
including Gregory VII and King Henry IV of Germany
(Holy Roman Emperor).
c. Explain the role of the church in medieval society.
d.Describe how increasing trade led to the growth of
towns and cities.
Manorial System and
• Manorial System
• Economic system
during the Middle Ages
that revolved around
self-sufficient farming
estates where lords
and peasants shared
the land
• Feudalism
• Political system of local
government based on
the granting of land in
return for loyalty,
military assistance, and
other services.
A powerful noble granted land
to a lesser noble. Ownership
of the land remained with the
noble who made the grant.
A person who
granted land was a
lord and the grant of
land was called a fief.
The person who received the fief was a
vassal—creating a contract between them.
Manors were large farming estates that included manor houses,
cultivated lands, woodlands, pastures, fields, and villages.
A lord kept 1/3 of his land; 2/3 peasants—
gave lord portion of their crop and helped
farm his 1/3
•Also called serfs
•Back breaking work in the fields
•Could not leave land without the
lord’s permission
•Could not hunt on the lord’s land
•Rarely ate meat
•Limited life expectancy
•Most lived, worked, and died in
village where they were born
Feudal Monarchies
Castle fortified base; where the lord enforced his
Chivalry a code of conduct; system of rules that
dictated knight’s behavior toward others
Code of Chivalry
•Courageous in battle
•Fight fairly
•Treat his conquered foes gallantly
•Courteous to women
•Required to extend courtesy to people of his own class
Becoming a Knight
Boy had to belong to the noble class
Had to pass through 2 stages of training
1st stage age 7; knight’s page or attendant
had to learn knightly manners
how to use and care for weapons
2nd stage teenage; squire or knight’s assistant
take care of horses, armor, & weapons
later may accompany knight into battle
Code of Arms
•Identified a knight
•Graphic symbol
•Represented his personal
•On his shield or outer coat, flag, or
horse trappings
AD 400s-1500
Transition Period in the EuropeanMiddle Ages
Time in history between the end of the Classical Age and the beginning
of the Modern World
Many Germanic tribes plundered Europe and established small
one tribe The Franks (France name after this group)
—lasting impact on Europe – helped shaped this new culture of
post-Roman Europe
The Pope needed the Franks to help against the Lombards ( Germanic
tribe attacking central Rome).
The Frankish ruler, Pepin (AD 751) defeats the Lombards.
The territory is given to the Pope is called “Donation of Pepin”—
created the Papal States
Paves the way for Charlemagne—Pepin’s son
and greatest of all Frankish Kings
Charlemagne (r. AD 768-814)
Brought civilization, order, and learning to barbarian
Spread Church teachings and beliefs
Declared Holy Roman Emperor
on Christmas Day , AD 800 at St.
Peter’s Basilica
United much of western Europe for the first time in 400 years.
Cultural rebirth throughout Europe
supported education
created libraries
sponsored the collection and copying of ancient Roman
Produced a readable Bible that was used throughout his empire.
Forced people to convert to Christianity.
His officials were called missi dominici or “the lord’s messengers.”
His rule was a model for later kings in medieval Europe
The Church
• Had broad political powers ( Europe’s central
governments were weak).
• It was the most powerful institution.
• Power extended through every
social/political levels.
• Leading landowner
• Source of leadership and stability for the
Clergy organized to a strict hierarchy
of rank
The Pope supreme leader
The Cardinals “princes of the Church”
Archbishop Over several dioceses
Bishop over diocese (a group of parishes)
Parish lowest rank—served people
in the parish
Monks and Nuns
Lived in
monasteries and
Believed they had
to withdraw from
the world and its
temptations to
live a Christian
Role was to
take care of
the needy
The Church—great political,
economic, and social influence across
most of Europe
• The Popeboth religious and political leader;
had spiritual power over all monarchs
• The Churchhad own code of law, canon law
had own courts
• Christiansfear of excommunication
could not receive sacraments
could not be buried in sacred
Church Power continued
• The church court could issue an interdictall
churches in that region could be closed.
• No Sacraments
• No burials
• No marriages
• Eternal punishment
This tactic could be used to
turn a region’s people
against a ruler!!
Church Power continued
Anyone who opposed the church heresy
Church had power to tax Tithe
Large income from owning lands
Wealthiest single institute in Europe
Problems of the Church
• Lay investiture—a wealthy noble appointing
a friend or relative to be a bishop or abbot.
• Simony—People could buy high positions
within the church hierarchy.
• Inquisition—the search for
heretics—some burned at
the stake
The church was an ever present facet of the
average man's life. From baptism, to
marriage, and finally to death it supported,
structured, and
sometimes hurt
every single
person in the
Pope Gregory VII and King Henry IV
The struggle between
Henry and Gregory
reflected the clash
between church and
state that was a
continuing issue in the
Middle Ages.
Pope Gregory VII
Henry IV
• Devout
• Brought spiritual reform to
the church
• Increased the power and
authority of the papacy.
• Felt that rulers and
ordinary people alike were
subject to the will of the
church and its pope.
• Used excommunication as
a way to resolve conflicts of
church and state.
• Came to the throne at the
age of 5.
• At age of 15, Henry moved
to strengthened his
imperial rule.
• Believed that he had the
power to appoint bishops
of the church—lay
• Actions brought him into
conflict with Pope Gregory
Excommunication for Henry by
the Pope
Henry sought the Pope’s mercy.
Winter of 1077—traveled to meet
Pope at Canossa, Italy.
Pope made Henry wait 3 days in
the bitter cold . Henry pleaded
for the pope’s mercy. Pope
revoked Henry’s
However—struggle of lay investiture
• AD 1122, representatives of both sides met in the
German city of Worms
• Agreement reached—known as the Concordat of
• Limited imperial power over the church
• Emperor allowed to appoint bishops to the fiefs (a
tenure of land subject to feudal obligations).
• Pope had the only power to name bishops , whose
spiritual authority came directly from the church.
The Crusades
Late 1000s
Seljuq Turks, Muslims gained
control of Palestine—”Holy
They threatened
Constantinople (capital of
Byzantine Empire)
Byzantine emperor called on
Pope Urban II (Rome) to regain
the Holy Land from the Turks
The Crusades
• 10,000 Europeans took up the cause
• Sewed a cross of cloth on their clothes
• Some went to save their souls. (believed if they
died on crusade = straight to heaven)
• Some hoped to gain land and wealth
• Some saw a chance to make money
• The Crusades appealed to a love of adventure
and the promise of rewards, both spiritual and
Four Crusades
1st- AD 1096-1099
For almost 100 years, Europe held
2nd-AD 1147-1149
Crusaders return to Europe
Truce-Crusaders received control of
some towns; allowed Christians to
enter Jerusalem freely
4th-AD 1202-1291
Crusaders attacked Christian cities
Constantinople collapsed in 1453
The Children’s Crusade of
• European children decided to
march to the Holy Land and
regain it for Christian Europe.
• Lacked training, equipment,
and supplies.
• Some returned home by the
time they reach
Mediterranean coast.
• Others reached southern
France, tricked into boarding
ships that carried them off
into slavery.
• Several thousand children
During the Crusades, thousands of crusaders traveled
through the Holy Land.
Ideas were exchanged
Knowledge gained from the Byzantines and Muslims whom
they met.
These new ideas helped to enrich European culture =
Cultural Diffusion
Italy was the earliest
site of the trade
Changes in trade also took place.
Italian cities became major trading centers.
Ships from Italian cities carried crusaders to the Holy Land.
Foods were brought back from southwest Asia.
Europeans began buying apricots, lemons, melons, rice, and
As trade grew, merchants needed places where they could
exchange goodsmarkets and fairgrounds ( entertainment
with clowns, jugglers, and muscians).
3 Important business developments occurred:
1. a new system of manufacturing
2. a banking system developed
3. and the practice of investing wealth started.
Domestic system—
manufacturing took place
in homes rather than a
shop or factory
Market Economy—
land, labor, and capital are
controlled by individual
The lending of money
Capital—wealth that is
earned, saved, and
The charging of interest on invested to make profits.
loans for business matters
Partnerships –new
Bills of exchange—easier
to move money from one
place to another
With trade
cities began
to grow!
and workers
began to
unite in
called guilds.

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